This past Tuesday I had the honor of attending my first Celebration Of Life for the six Marines who died in Nepal. It was held at the base Chapel on a day where the sun and the clouds decided to share the spotlight. Making it feel breezy and warm.
As I walked in, I hadn’t any idea what to expect. The Chapel was nothing but a sea of tan digitals, in every row and in each aisle. I found my seat next to my Husband and the Marines in his unit. Next to my Husband was a Marine, a friend who’s fiancé was one of the six pictured in the front of the room.
The Band was all brass, playing eerie yet beautiful military ballots. The next thirty minutes was filled with Our Nation’s Anthem, Scripture, words of hope, commander’s remarks, and personal stories from friends. Each one celebrating the lives, recalling the sacrifice for country, and acknowledging those left behind. Serving as a truthful reminder of the preciousness of life and the importance of each moment.
Going through the sequence of events, anything separating us from each other melted away. We were there, feeling each other’s emotions and understanding each other’s loss. Loss of a Love, loss of a Friend, loss of a Brother or Sister in arms, loss of a Life.
Then Roll Call. A list of each Marine’s name who was part of the unit. One by one the earthbound bodies stood, saying “Present,” as their name was called. And between the tangible names, a silent Soul stood beside them.
Their name… called 3 times… in 3 different ways.
Rank, 1st Initial, Last Name
Rank, First Name, Last Name
Rank, First Name, Middle Initial, Last Name
Never to answer again. Only now to stand at attention, looking down on us from Heaven.
Memorial Day will never be the same for me. I had a rare, once in a life time experience that I will always treasure. God grants us these moments so we may have a better understanding life. Opening our hearts and helping us find love and compassion for one another. Giving us a glimpse of His love and compassion for us.
So please, every Memorial Day, think of the Roll Call. Every name called and hear the silent echoes of the Military Members, now protecting you from above.
Special Dedication to:
Captain Dustin R. Lukasiewicz, USMC
Captain Christopher L. Norgen, USMC
Sergeant Eric M. Seaman, USMC
Sergeant Ward M. Seaman, USMC
Corporal Sara. A. Medina, USMC
Lance Corporal Jacob A. Hug, USMC
“Only the dead have seen the end of war.”